Theories of the Self abound both across and within disciplines. Following a discussion of two frameworks for understanding the Self—the essentialist and the dialogic—we explore the nature of what we call the rhizomal Self. Through autobiographical material we present a rhizomal narrative as a means of understanding the Self as narrative performance. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the advantages of this way of conceptualizing and representing the Self.
This article focuses on the methodological process in examining a portion of one in-depth interview with a formerly chronically homeless man. Implications for housing policy with chronically homeless populations and the role of narrative analysis in social work research are discussed. Data was analyzed using models of narrative analysis developed by Gee (1985, 1986, 1991); Labov (1982, 1987; Labov & Waletsky, 1967); and Richardson (1993). This article demonstrates first, the utility of narrative analysis in social work research, and second, how narrative analysis reveals important insights into understanding the chronically homeless population.
Finely polished prose and clean analysis is abundant in scholarly publications. Yet the academic writing process of drafts, peer review, and revisions that lead to these polished papers is one of trials, triumphs, discovery, and self-doubt rarely revealed to new scholars. This paper is one attempt to demystify the writing as inquiry process through the lens of narrative inquiry. Using three drafts of the same researched text, this paper tells the story of twin journeys: my journey from music teacher to narrative researcher and my middle school music students’ journeys through a student-led curricular unit.
Identities are not only constructed through coherent and unified stories about significant events but also formed within the interactions during everyday social encounters. Using positioning analysis, we explored how older women’s “small stories” from interviews can be used to identify their “situated selves” and how positioning analysis contributes to enhance our understandings about their experiences of physical functional changes. Positioning analysis helped us see how they continuously modify their positions to reconstruct their identities while they talk about everyday life. We should pay more attention to “small stories” about everyday activities as well as their coherent “big stories.”
In this 2017 John McKendy Memorial Lecture, Dr. Janet Ruffing, RSM, discussed spiritual direction as a narrative process, recognized or not, in which the directee tells his or her sacred tale in the interaction with a spiritual director who significantly affects the unfolding of this serial narrative of lived faith. At a time, when directees have unprecedented access to genealogical information and also live in or make retreats in a variety of places, how do these new experiences affect their identity spiritually and socially? Do they become integrated into the ongoing narrative of identity or not?
In this 2017 John McKendy Memorial Lecture, Dr. Marvin Westwood discussed two group-based interventions for veterans who have a post-traumatic stress-injury—guided autobiography and therapeutic enactment—as a trans-theoretical model for change. Narrative-based therapeutic enactment has been highly effective for traumatized individuals—both military and civilian. The presentation included video clips illustrating how the approach is applied in work with Canadian veterans who have operational stress injuries.